By Marilyn Dion – Certified Life-Cycle Celebrant®
When I think of June, a smile automatically lifts my face and I’m all aglow. There is just so much to look forward to in June – and not just because it is my birth month! Whether it is visits to the cottage, planting annuals in a garden, making plans for Father’s Day or taking part in a wedding, June is a harbinger of all things ‘summery’ and good.
Closet Clearing Ritual
The beginning of June marks the ritual of closet cleaning – an event in my home. It means it’s time to pack away winter clothes and try on the summer ones. Making the decisions to keep and store or to give away (and sometimes throw away) is best done when the sun is shining and a light breeze is blowing through an open window. It feels great to drop off bags of unneeded items to a charitable cause and reflect how lucky I am to have more than enough.
Summer Solstice Rituals
June 21st marks the Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere of our Earth. Check local event calendars for community organizations and Yoga studios who may be holding festivities or ceremonies to mark this very special time of the year, what we usually call “The longest day of the year”. Summer Solstice events are a great way to connect with others in our communities and with nature. Another idea is to hold a drumming-circle with friends and family or connect inwardly through meditation or a walk with the dog.
Family Cottage Rituals
Families experience a similar sense of gratitude after opening their cottages for the summer season. They, once again, are privy to the wonders of nature away from the bustle of the city, the work rat race and the smog. There is a feeling of being carefree. It feels so good to put your feet up and relax with a good book or watch a sunset without worrying about anything. Sweeping the corners of the rooms for spiders is kind of an analogy to sweeping the cares of normal city life away. Cleaning away the dust and grime of winter and perhaps even smudging the air enables us to symbolically feel the newness of the season – the end of the cold and dark and the beginning of the warmth and light.
Father’s Day Rituals
Just about mid-month is Father’s Day. If we are lucky enough to have a caring father who is still alive, we make every effort to acknowledge his significance in our lives. Each family seems to develop its own traditions in honoring their fathers and grandfathers. Gift-giving like the proverbial tie, a CD of his favorite music, personal words of endearment in a card or breakfast in bed or a BBQ with family are a few of the ways dads are shown that they are special and loved.
When fathers are no longer with us due to death or other reasons beyond our control, we can be a little lost. We can feel separated from our cultural norms as we are bombarded with advertisements about the right card and the right gift for the man who enabled us to be. I believe we need to set up our own rituals in this case.
In the case of remembering a dad who was and whom we loved, we can re-visit photos taken through the years and gift ourselves with the memories. We can visit a gravesite or talk with others who remember him. We can share stories and we can post our feelings by writing a tribute on Facebook where friends can support us. There is a way to gain insight into ourselves as we reflect on what aspects of ourselves mirror who he was. After all, we are his legacy. It is important to be proud of that and to be strong and carry on activities and rituals that remind us of him. One way to celebrate a deceased father is to plan a memorial on a day of significance – for instance, his birthday, an anniversary, or Father’s Day. Meaningful memorials as tributes and celebrations of a life well-lived are something I love to do for clients who are missing their loved ones. Instead of closer, we can experience an opening to the feelings for our dads who are alive in our hearts.
Rituals of Healing
Sometimes some biological fathers have never been fathers to us in the real sense of the word and have not been a positive part of our lives. There are instances when I perform weddings where the mother is the one to walk her daughter down the aisle. These daughters acknowledge that their mother has performed the roles of both mother and father. Children of absentee fathers need to embrace the fact that they don’t have a true father and know that it really has nothing to do with them. The next step is to release any attachment, negative feeling or blame to be free. Some ways certified Life-Cycle Celebrants® can help children of such fathers liberate themselves through personalized and meaningful, ceremonies and rituals of healing.
Certified Life-Cycle Celebrants® understand the circumstances in life that can be difficult to move through – without meaningful ceremony. We are thoroughly trained to help our client honorees mark the milestones and transitions in their lives, organizations, and communities. Through thorough interviewing, certified Life-Cycle Celebrants® reflect the beliefs and values of their client’s in co-creating custom wrote ceremonies and rituals. A carefully crafted ceremony that is executed professionally is nothing less than magical, healing and transformative. Choose a Celebrant near you – http://www.celebrantinstitute.org/choose-a-celebrant.php